Monday, June 25

Shopping Smarter: Smartphone Shoppers

There is an interesting ongoing shopper behavior study being conducted by The Integer Group® and M/A/R/C Research. The latest findings suggest that African-Americans and Hispanics are adopting new shopping technologies at a faster rate than Caucasians.

Currently, 18 percent of African-American shoppers and 16 percent of Hispanic shoppers use their mobile devices to make purchases. Only 10 percent of Caucasians do.

This may be especially significant because, combined, African-Americans and Hispanics make up more than 30 percent of the total population (Hispanic, 20 percent; African-American, 12 percent).

Along with making purchases, one in five African-American shoppers (21 percent) use their phones to read product reviews and maintain shopping lists and one in five Hispanic shoppers (20 percent) use their mobile devices to compare prices on products. Only 13 percent of Caucasians do.

Even more interesting, despite adoption, smartphone penetration skews lower among African-Americans and Hispanics than Caucasians. Currently, it is estimated that as many as 50 percent of the total mobile phone population is using smartphones.

Other Highlights From The Integer Group Study. 

• Almost as many shoppers use email coupons (49 percent) as Sunday paper coupons (57 percent).

• Men might be viewed as tech toy lovers, but women are more apt to use technology to shop.

• Having children in the household drives adoption of digital shopping technologies.

"Digital shoppers are just shoppers," said Ben Kennedy, group director of Mobile Marketing at Integer. "Digital shopping tools are illustrative of the continued blurring of the on- and offline spaces. Today's reality is that shoppers use whatever tools they have on hand to make them smarter, savvier shoppers."

According to the conclusions of the study by The Integer Group, companies and businesses would be smart to consider basic mobile communication through SMS, making mobile websites the points of entry. Mobile marketing to multicultural shoppers is a huge opportunity, said Martin Ferro, senior account planner for Velocidad, a Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group.

It could be, but marketers ought to demonstrate some constraint over segmenting their advertising too thin. With each generation, even cultures resistant to assimilation tend to shift toward multicultural messages that are inclusive as opposed to targeted and/or exclusive. For example, many second generation Hispanics are bilingual, but not necessarily literate in their parents' or grandparents' language.

The best part of the study, however, is that it demonstrates that the old perception of tech adoption is outdated. Like many social media and online marketing pros know, the stereotype that the Internet predominantly consists of white tech guys is largely gone.

The study is by The Integer Group (, one of the world's largest promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agencies, and a key member of Omnicom Group Inc. You can download the study from its site, The Checkout, where it was first published. It requires basic contact information (name, title, business, and email are mandatory).
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